A Pretty Penny
And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all: ~Luke 21:2-3
What do you do with your pocket change? Whenever I pay for items with cash, I tend to take the loose change and put it in a bag or a container. My intention is to spend it, but I wind up forgetting to bring it with me. After it builds up to several dollars (a lot of change), I sort it out and deposit it. Sometimes, I look at all the pennies that I have accumulated and think, “This won’t go very far.” This morning, we are considering a woman and her two pennies. In fact, these two pennies were all of the financial substance that this woman had. The term “a pretty penny” is used to describe a large sum of money. Let’s see how this woman and a pretty penny is an inspiration to us.
We see a time of collection.
Jesus was in the temple preaching and teaching. The Pharisees and scribes were looking for ways to entrap Him. Jesus took notice of the people who were bringing their financial gifts into the temple. Whenever people brought their money, they would drop their coins into a collection box. Extending from the outside of the box was a metal, funnel-type tube. The currency that was used was coins. The more valuable the coin was in denomination amount, the larger and heavier the metal weight. When coins were dropped into the collection box, they would make a clanging noise as they descended into the tube and, finally, into the box. If you listened carefully, you could distinguish what coins were going in. All others in the temple were going about their business, but Jesus was placing close attention to what people were putting in. We must remember that the Lord still places close attention to our giving and what kind of spirit we are giving with.
We see a test of comparison.
Jesus was watching and listening to the offerings of the rich men. Here was a line of well-dressed men of wealth and fame walking up to the treasury box and dropping their coins inside. As Jesus listened to the sound, He knew that they were dropping large amounts of money in because their coins gave a distinct sound as they descended down the funnel tube. These men walked up to this box, dropped in their coins, and walked away with a somewhat conceited smile as if to say, “See, I put a large amount of money in it.” Then, He took notice of a poor widow woman who dropped her money in. It was evident that she was poor by her simple garments, by the slow shuffling of her feet, by her head bent down, and, then, by her offering. As she dropped her coins into the same box, it was evident that she only dropped in two coins, and the sound indicated that she gave the smallest amount of money: two mites, or two pennies. Comparing this woman and the rich men, the sight and the sound of her offering would lead anyone watching to think that she gave a very small and insignificant amount. However, as we will see, the Lord is watching us to determine not how much we gave as much as how well we gave.
We see a tremendous commendation.
“And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all: For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.” Jesus used this event to teach a powerful truth. He said, “Of a truth I say unto you.” The rich men gave of their abundance, which indicates that they still had much more available that they could have given. The poor widow gave all that she had. She had no more to put in the box: she gave her very last two pennies. This widow was commended by our Lord for her love, sacrifice, and demonstration. Who gave more? The widow woman did! She gave in humility, in happiness, and without reservation. She did not impress the elite who assembled there, but she caught the eye and ear of our Lord. Let us remember that God looks at the motive of our heart. God looks to see if what we are doing is the giving of our best and our all.
This woman gave a pretty penny. We can never outgive the Lord. We must change our thinking and heart’s motive to always come with a heart that is ready to give it all.
Have a giving-inspired God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: John 13-15